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Digital technology developments @ ITMA


Stitch World March, 2016

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Focus on versatile applications and improved reliability

Among the many technologies on display at the recently concluded ITMA, digital printing emerged as one of the most sought-after and also the fastest evolving trends in terms of R&D. From just a few players a decade ago, the segment had around 35 players at this edition with many predicting two halls by the next show, four years on at Barcelona. Though digital printing is already a well-established technology, in other areas of application it is relevantly new to the textile segment, but growing very fast. According to industry experts the expansion in volume of digitally printed fabric is around 25%…


Source: Stitch World March, 2016

Mimaki introduces machine for customized solutions


(L-R) NS Ahluwalia, Director, Insight Print Communication Pvt. Ltd; Mandaar Nalawade, GM – Sales & Marketing, Mimaki India Pvt. Ltd.; and Ajay Aggarwal, MD & CEO, Insight Print Communication Pvt. Ltd.

Re-entering the Indian market with three new agents, Mimaki has launched the latest offerings to the industry – Tx300P-1800, an entry-level model for customized design products that fit perfectly in places with limited floor space, such as design studios or school facilities. The new print head allows printing on various types of textile and various woven patterns or raised fibre surfaces. A reliable and unique feeding mechanism including front and rear tension bars ensures stable textile transportation for providing quality printing. Ajay Aggarwal, MD & CEO, Insight Print Communication Pvt. Ltd., and one of the newly appointed agents for Mimaki in India, is very upbeat on the potential of digital technology in India. “The industry is on a learning curve and it will take some time to take-off in a big way, but one thing for sure is that the interest in the technology is growing in leaps and bounds. We have been associated with printing industry for a long time, but textile is a new area for us and we see great potential for the future,” says Aggarwal.

Enhanced with Mimaki Advanced Pass System 4 (MAPS4) technology that reduces banding, the maximum print speed achievable by the new launch is 68 sq. m. per hour with 4-colour printing and 37 sq. m. -hour with 6-colour printing. For uninterrupted printing solutions, the patented Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) automatically detects and cleans clogged nozzles, while the Nozzle Recovery System (NRS) uses only good nozzles as substitutes, when the clogged nozzles are not recovered after cleaning. The Mimaki Bulk Ink System 3 (MBIS3) supports long-time continuous printing.

Epson presents a synergy of technology from global leaders for complete solutions


(L-R) Paolo Crespi, Commercial Director, For-Tex; Harish Tandon, Comotex – the Indian sales channel partners; and Valerio Robustelli from Robustelli

Coming together to create cutting edge printing solutions, Epson, For-Tex and F.lli Robustelli presented two new versions of their already popular printing technology Monna Lisa – Monna Lisa Vinci and Monna Lisa EVO TRE. The main features are the enhanced reliability, resulting from the elimination of traditional machine downtimes and higher level of flexibility with possibility to use 12 colours. Another strength of the new machines are the new TFP Precision Core heads that enable improved accuracy and higher quality of inkjet printing, irrespective of the number of passages. In addition the heads lifespan has been estimated up to two years, the longest available in the market today.

Equipped with the innovative EPSON ‘PrecisionCore TFP’ print heads with high inkjet precision, EVO TRE confirms the best Quality-Speed ratio in printing, and it maintains the characteristics of energy-saving and environmental protection in the printing process. EVO TRE has a wide range of resolutions and interlacing modes that allows to print any type of fabric and high quality designs. The standard version uses 8 basic colours. The inks of the range ‘GENESTA’ can be Acid, Reactive, Dispersed, Pigments and Sublimation for the respective types of fabric.

Durst presents solutions for home furnishing segment

Vivek Singh, Head – Sales, India Operations, Durst

Vivek Singh, Head – Sales, India Operations, Durst

Durst launched the Alpha series, a new generation of super multi-pass inkjet printers for the digital production of home textiles and fashion. The Alpha series offers print widths ranging from 190 to 330 cm and can be configured with up to 8 colours and 64 Alpha-S print heads that achieve a native resolution of 600 dpi and a print speed of 460 linear metre per hour.

Durst is positioning the Alpha series in direct competition to traditional screen-printing – with all the benefits of digital printing. The Durst Alpha series provides continuous ink circulation in all ink circuits in order to guarantee constant ink quality and reliable stand-by availability. In the event of a print head failing, an automatic emergency mode will deactivate the affected print head row and continue printing with the greatest possible number of print heads. A new intelligent feed system adapts automatically to different textiles and roll diameters. An integrated spray system allows materials to be chemically pre-treated before printing. Durst provides its own Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certifiable ink systems and a GOTS-certified reactive ink system. In order to give users greater flexibility and efficiency in production, Durst has also developed a new pigmented ink (Alpha Ink P) which can be used on a wide variety of textiles and which, after printing, offers an impressive feel. In addition, no pre- or post-treatment is required for standard materials such as cotton or polyester. The newly developed Durst Textile Workflow System simplifies precise colour reproduction on different fabrics and enables continuous quality control and one-step profiling for new materials and colour matching.

FujiFilm offers new pigment-based inks with dry heat fixation

Team FujiFilm

Team FujiFilm – (L-R) Jillian L Sloan, Purchasing Manager; Hamid M Shirazi, Global Technical Promotions Manager; and Kevin J Myers, Commercial GM – New Business

Partner to many manufacturers of ink and digital printing technology, FujiFilm Imaging Colorants showcased its new Pro-JET TX pigment-based inks for high speed textile printing with dry heat fixation technology that allows for waterless fixation. With range of colours for cotton and cotton-polyester blends the inks are endow with qualities of wash-fastness and colourfastness for application in both apparel and home segment. There were a few OEM’s and machine manufacturers in the digital textile pavilion exhibiting machines running on pigment ink successfully.

The machines included the Durst Alpha 330, Colorjet Metro, Miyakoshi MTP Series, Kornit Allegro and MS – JPK Evo indicating the evolution of pigment inks to suit high speed production machines. Barring the MS JPK Evo the other four printers were launched at ITMA 2015. Pigment inks have been evolving over the time and companies have been addressing the issues of stability to make pigment digital printing acceptable to the industry.

Pigment printing provides a comparatively eco-friendly process with reduction in water consumption and waste and also simplifies the entire production process compared to digital printing with dye-based inks. Additionally, since this process does not generate waste water it also allows the printing companies to set up the printing sites closer to the fashion and home furnishing markets.

PIKE from SPGPrints – a new performance standard for single-pass digital textile printing

Jos Notermans

Jos Notermans, Commercial Manager, Digital Textiles, SPGPrints

With high speed, precision geometrics, fast throughput and low running costs, the new PIKE printer based on a full-width array of Fujifilm Samba print elements, especially modified in a joint project for optimum performance in textile printing, signifies a new era in single-pass digital printing technology. Incorporated in a highly accurate but user-friendly print-bar technology, including specialized electronics as well as an ink conditioning and ink delivery system, called ‘Archer®’, PIKE attracted great attention at ITMA.

The Archer technology offers both precision and a significantly greater jetting distance than possible with other heads widely used in current digital-textile applications. Head plates in the Archer are situated 4 mm away from the substrate surface, compared with the typical 1.5 mm nozzle-fabric distance offered by alternative print heads. The longer jetting distance greatly reduces the risk of ‘head strike’, which can damage these expensive components. It also eliminates the need for ‘neat edges’ for most fabrics, as required in all digital printing systems today. These advantages allow SPGPrints to offer the ‘Archer Print Head Program’, which provides a two-and-a-half year guarantee on the print heads in combination with the use of PIKE inks. The first PIKE printer is a 6-colour machine in which each colour is represented by an Archer print bar containing 43 print elements, giving a printing width of 1850 mm.

The print bar has a native resolution of 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi, variable drop-sizes between 2pl to 10pl and a jetting frequency of 32 kHz. As a result of these features, PIKE offers up to 80 per cent more ink delivery than any other solution today, and a typical productivity of 40 linear metres per minute, with a maximum of around 90 metres/min. The modular construction will allow models with up to nine colours. Wider versions of the PIKE, up to 3200 mm, are also planned. The multiple-pass scanning printer achieves optimum resolution at productivity levels of 120 linear metres/hour; maximum speeds exceed 200 linear metres/hour.

Konica Minolta offers better print quality with speed

Hayato Kobayashi, Assistant Manager, Textile Business Group, Sales Division, Inkjet Business Unit, Konica Minolta with Vir Vikram Bhatia, MD, Apsom Technologies – the Indian sales partner of Konica Minolta

Hayato Kobayashi, Assistant Manager, Textile Business Group, Sales Division, Inkjet Business Unit, Konica Minolta with Vir Vikram Bhatia, MD, Apsom Technologies – the Indian sales partner of Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta unveiled two new scan-type high- and medium-speed inkjet textile printers, Nassenger 10 and Nassenger 8, at ITMA 2015 to extend its line-up of high-resolution, high-productivity inkjet textile printers. The addition of these two new models will allow customers to choose, from a wider range of options, the model best-suited to the scale of their business, production volume, and budget. With high productivity, Nassenger 10 inkjet textile printer is ideal for customers who require high-volume printing as well as higher-quality reproduction of images. With a print speed of 580 sq. m. per hour, this model can replace a conventional flat screen printing machine. On the other hand, Nassenger 8 is capable of meeting a variety of printing needs ranging from sample printing to low-volume printing; this model is the best choice for customers who require medium-volume printing. With a print speed of 240 sq. m./hour, this model ensures high productivity and is an ideal successor to a conventional inkjet textile printer which visionary customers have been using.

These models are equipped with newly-developed inkjet print heads, which is also used in the high-end model, Nassenger SP-1. With the adjustable ink droplet size (large, medium, and small), coupled with the combination of Konica Minolta’s proprietary dark- and light-coloured inks, these models are capable of higher-quality reproduction of colour gradients and thin lines as well as fine, repetitive geometric patterns that are difficult to reproduce on conventional textile printers. The models are also easy to maintain thanks to advanced functions for reducing troubles likely to cause downtime such as: network-based remote access; notification of the printer status by email; automatic detection of fabric wrinkles; prevention of fabric from colliding with the print head carriage; and automatic print head maintenance.

Reggiani offers complete range of printing solutions

Andrea Turiano (extreme right), Area Sales Manager, Reggiani with his Asian customers

Andrea Turiano (extreme right), Area Sales Manager, Reggiani with his Asian customers

At the first dedicated textile exhibition since the mid-2015 acquisition of Reggiani to form EFI Reggiani, the company showcased at ITMA new sustainable technology solutions and processes for the new era of green textile factory production. The company’s innovative philosophy is founded on decades of extensive research, and now targets end-users’ demands for consistent, superior quality and fast productivity. The new ReNOIR NEXT printer, a highly versatile product that prints onto fabrics and papers uses the same ink-set with a 1.8 m beltless digital printing system. It joins the highly successful Reggiani line-up of textile printing solutions and offers simplified material handling, a compact footprint and a lower acquisition cost, making it an ideal entry-level production device.

Like other EFI Reggiani printers, its high-quality sublimation inks are complemented by its ability for high-speed throughput with the lowest total running costs. The inkjet digital textile system is based on new eco-chemistry, using water-based inks that, together with advanced and streamlined automation, provide a total solution for textile businesses. The water-based inks are developed to be eco-friendly by significantly reducing pollution without compromising quality and speed. Also making their debut at the show were Artistri® PK2600 inks developed by DuPont™ for cotton textile roll-to-roll printing on EFI Reggiani printers.

The new inks offer colour and hand comparable to reactive printing, excellent fastness performance and best-in-class digital printing performance, without steaming or washing production steps that hinder turnaround times. As a complete solutions company, EFI Reggiani also demonstrated the capabilities of EFI Fiery® production workflow and colour management for the first time with EFI Reggiani products.

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